Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Disney

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

On Nov. 7 Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  )  reported a strong fourth quarter which capped off a tremendous year for the company. For the third consecutive year in a row, Disney delivered record revenue, net income, and earnings per share. Yet there's more to this global media giant than what meets the eye.

In fact, these five things about Disney may take you by surprise.

1. The sun never sets in the "happiest place on Earth"

You probably know there is a Disneyland in California and a Disney World in Florida. Can you name the other three Disney locations throughout the world? Chances are, you can't.

In addition to the two locations in the US, Disney also holds a 51% interest in Disneyland Paris, a 48% interest in the Hong Kong Disneyland location, and licenses the operations of the Tokyo Resort in Japan. Disney also holds a 43% interest in the Shanghai Disney Resort, slated to open at the end of 2015. Therefore, there are really five "happiest places on Earth" with a sixth coming. As a result of the sprawled out nature of the Disney locations, the sun is always up in at least one of the "happiest places on Earth."

2. Walt Disney never graduated high school

Behind such a prosperous and powerful company like Disney you would expect to find an educated man or woman at the helm. While the company's legendary founder Walt Disney was a genius, he never graduated high school. 

As a 16-year-old Walt dropped out to enlist in the army during the First World War. While he was rejected for being underage, he managed to find employment as a ambulance driver for the Red Cross. By the time Disney arrived in France, the armistice agreement had already been signed. 

Despite his lack of a high school education, Walt Disney returned to the United States and was able to found his now famous company when he signed a contract with M.J. Winkler to produce a series of Alice comedies. The company Walt created, 90 years later, is valued at nearly $125 billion. 

3. If it was up to Walt, Mickey Mouse would be named Mortimer Mouse

What is the first thing you think of when you hear about the Walt Disney Company? If you think of Mickey Mouse, you are just like me. If it was up to Walt, we be thinking about Mortimer Mouse. In fact, in the mouse's first few shorts, he is called Mortimer. Luckily, Walt's wife Lillian Disney eventually convinced Walt that Mickey would be a more marketable name.

I think Mickey Mouse has a much better ring to it and that in the end Walt made the right call, but that is open to debate. Would the company be the same if Walt had stuck to his guns? The world will never know.   

4. Disney's interactive segment has never turned an annual profit

In 2008, Disney founded Disney Interactive. This segment is primarily focused on two things: video games and online media. It is best known for, Club Penguin, Where's My Water, and Disney Infinity. 

From the second this business was put into operation, it has lost money. Between 2008 and 2012, Disney Interactive lost a total of $1.31 billion, never turning a profit on annual basis. 2008-2012 Disney 10-ks

Yet that may be changing as Disney Interactive managed a quarterly profit of $16 million in the most recent quarter. In large part this was due to the strong performance of Disney Infinity, a video game which many claim is Disney's version of Activision's (NASDAQ: ATVI  ) widely popular Skylanders series. 

5. Disney's stock has more than tripled the return of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past decade

On a total return basis, which takes dividends into account, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has offered a return of 74.19% over the past decade. Disney's total return during this same time period was more than three times that of the Dow Jones at 236.1%. The majority of this separation came after the Great Recession of 2008, as Disney's stock rebounded much quicker than the blue-chip average.  

DIS Total Return Price Chart

DIS Total Return Price data by YCharts

The Foolish Takeaway
Disney's fourth quarter results were strong, yet hidden just beneath the surface of this global media giant is a complex network which spans the globe.

And while Disney's products and services have been present in so many people's lives for so many years, there will always be new things to learn about this magical company.  

Ready to learn more about who will be the big winner in TV? Read this free report.
The future of television begins now… with an all-out $2.2 trillion media war that pits cable companies like Cox, Comcast, and Time Warner against technology giants like Apple, Google, and Netflix. The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation reveals the secret Steve Jobs took to his grave, and explains why the only real winners are these three lesser-known power players that film your favorite shows. Click here to watch today!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2731161, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 1:31:33 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,220.60 125.77 0.70%
S&P 500 2,159.28 13.18 0.61%
NASD 5,295.63 38.14 0.73%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/27/2016 1:11 PM
DIS $91.60 Down -0.36 -0.39%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****